Dystopian novels went through a period of huge success in the first fifteen years or so of this century. Besides the many in the general market, Jill Williamson published The Safe Lands series with Blink, a division of Harper Collins. The first, Captives (read a review here), came out in 2013, followed by Outcasts, and then Rebels (read an excerpt here).
Certainly there were other Christians putting out dystopian novels (Nadine Brandis—the Time to Die series—comes to mind, and for middle grade readers, Evan Angler—the Swipe series.) But I mention Jill Williamson because she revealed the cover of her new book last week, and it is a prequel to the Safe Lands series.
I’ll give you the info I have from the Jill Williamson newsletter (used with permission):
THIRST is a prequel to The Safe Lands trilogy. It tells the story of Papa Eli, back when he was a teenager and he and his friends survived the Great Pandemic that sparked the future dystopian world in which Levi, Mason, Omar, and Shaylinn were taken captive. Here is the back cover description:
A waterborne disease has contaminated the world’s fresh water, decimating the human race. Seventeen-year-old Eli McShane and his friends flee the chaos and violence in Phoenix and journey north toward the rumored location of a safe water source. They add several to their number, including the mysterious Hannah, who is being hunted by a dangerous man. Desperation brings out the worst in many of the travelers, infecting even those closest to Eli. When division comes, will he be able to hold his group together or will each fall victim to their own thirst for survival?
I guess you could say this is a pre-dystopian novel—a great idea. It would be similar to Suzanne Collins writing a book that explained how the government that established and controlled the hunger games, came to power. Or how the people in the world of Divergent came to live in an isolated, walled-off city.
I love the “how did that happen” stories, which I think are seldom presented in the case of dystopian worlds. Those novels usually start with an overbearing totalitarian government in charge, controlling the populace and creating havoc with their policies. Consequently, I think Jill Williamson has a brilliant idea—go back and look at what happened that created the Safe Lands and the authoritarian world that was the basis for that series.
First, I suggest you get the Safe Lands trilogy, though you don’t have to read these books before you read the prequel. But it happens that you can get all three on Kindle for $9.99, which is an incredible bargain price. Of course, the three paper back copies cost under $30, so if you prefer print, you can’t do much better.
BUT, Jill Williamson is promoting the new book, the prequel, THIRST, which launches November 21. I hardly have to point out that this date will allow you to purchase a copy for a Christmas gift for anyone you know who has a love for fantasy. Plus, Jill is making available some swag. You can think of this as her own book box, available on a limited basis. Here’s what she said in her newsletter:
I have pre-order goodies available for the first 50 shoppers who sign up. Pre-order goodies are a THIRST water bottle, a limited edition bookmark, and cut chapters from Hannah’s point of view. (See the picture.)
Here are the places you can pre-order. Keep in mind, these are special prices that will go up after the book releases on November 21.
To sign up for a chance to be one of the first 50 who receive the swag, follow these instructions:
After you pre-order the book, follow this link and fill out the form. You’ll need to upload an image of your receipt.
Click here to get your pre-order swag.